God's Plan For The Homeless


I live in a small city in British Columbia. It could be any small city really. It's a pretty place, and the weather - for Canada- is pretty good. As our town has grown we have begun to experience some of the issues traditionally associated with larger urban centres, mainly drugs, prostitution and the blight of homelessness. What to do, what to do?


As municipal governments across the world shrug off any real sense of responsibility for the problems faced by those among us who, for whatever reason, find themselves living on the fringe of our society, I'm sure they take a certain comfort knowing that the army of god is doing everything they can to convert these unfortunates to the unquestioning blind faith of evangelical christianity ( why do I keep having to uncapitalize "god" and "christianity?")

The Salvation Army, an organization most would consider a worthy bunch of folks who help shoulder the burden of caring for the world's downtrodden, is there to provide food, and religious indoctrination, temporary shelter, and religious indoctrination, counselling services, and religious indoctrination...I think you can see where I'm going with this. Apparently a spoonful of god helps the soup go down in the most delightful way.

Charity is defined as a selfless act of kindness without any expectation of reward. The reward these people seek is more sheep to shear in their global harvest of souls.

Religion thrives by preying on the weak, the young, the sick, the poor, the uneducated, generally the kind of people who don't get to be on your list of facebook friends. What better way to grow the flock than by creating an environment attractive to the downtrodden. They come, they eat, maybe take a nap, and are forced to consume the doctrines of this offshoot of the Methodist church. Here are few of my personal favourites:

- We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration from God, and that they constitute the Divine rule of Christian Faith and Practice.

Now we all know the carnage following the lessons of those best sellers can lead to.

- We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocence, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness and that in consequence of their fall, all men have become sinners, totally depraved and as such are justly exposed to God's wrath.

Now I can't remember when I lost my purity - I think I may have been about eighteen - and as far as I can tell I've got a reasonably good grip on happiness. But if I ever lose either again, at least I know who to blame: my totally depraved ancestors.

- We believe in the the endless immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the soul; in the general judgement at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.

Of course only they get to choose who catches a ride on the righteous bus... Next stop End Of The World Yipeee!


One of the great things about membership in The Atheist Republic is the ability to network with other like minded individuals, and maybe come up with a few potential solutions ourselves. Sometimes it can be as simple as taking the time to actually listen to those who find themselves on the fringe. Sometimes we can do more. The important thing to note is that our actions will represent true charity. We don't need to convert people to our cause, although we can point out the strings attached to other offers.


In an effort to open the lines of communication with the residents of a tent city which has arisen (not unexpectedly adjacent to the Salvation Army shelter/recruiting station called the Caring Place,) myself and a few like minded Ridgeans will be holding a BBQ, Songfest, Art Exhibition and poetry reading with the people of the tents city. We're going to try a different approach. Make them feel welcome instead of marginalized, feed them, without expectation, and try to get to know them as People. Armin and the team at AR have graciously offered to help. It would be great if any local like minded Atheists could stop by to show their support.

It will be on from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hope to see you there!

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